What makes a design memorable? When you think about iconic, custom designs like Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater or the Golden Gate Bridge, it becomes evident that there is not a one-size-fits-all solution. That question guides ISG’s work daily, and was the first one thrown out when recently tasked with creating a photobooth design inspired by music for Fusion + Captured 2017, an event hosted by the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) Northland Chapter. The answer this time: green slime, gas masks, and radioactivity. Welcome to the new age.

Revolution + Rebirth

interior designers at photobooth design event
IIDA Northland asked competitors to create a 3D photobooth backdrop inspired by a song, with maximum dimensions of 7’W x 7’D x 8’. Teams were encouraged to use their artistic expression to explore music within their structures.

Imagine going to bed one night in the world you currently know. Now, imagine waking up the next morning, walking outside, only to find that nothing is the same. You are slowly beginning to panic as you breathe in the chemicals – a nuclear fallout in the night. The sky is dark, although it’s long into the morning. The grass is brown and the leaves cease to exist in the midst of summer. In the distance, you see what appears to be a spill of glowing green material, illuminating the surrounding area. Then, you realize the spills are all around you, igniting light across the earth even in the sun’s absence; it’s… radioactive.

building photoboothThe team, made up of participants across ISG’s multiple disciplines, chose “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons for the inspiration with a unique interpretation of the song. Rather than destroying everything in its path, radioactivity can actually be a form of rebirth, opportunity to start anew, and create things never imagined. Those who embrace the new world of radioactivity will survive and thrive.

radioactive-photobooth-designWhen attendees entered the structure, they were greeted by a puddle of green slime, charred material, and a green glow. But upon closer examination, plants, flowers, and mosses never before seen on earth came into view, as demonstrated by the mossy green carpet samples and paper-cut flowers.

The shape of the photo booth was also symbolic. The circular configuration gestures to concepts of infinity and the endless boundaries of our world. From the ground surface to the structure’s top, and back down again, the theme of a new age through radioactivity shined through.

Experience + Interaction

Interactivity was encouraged as guests wandered around the historic Machine Shop taking photos in front of the imaginative backdrops and Instagramming them with the event hashtag #Fusion2017.

ISG employee-owners pose in front of photobooth
Participants donated new or gently used art supplies to non-profit Free Arts Minnesota to enter a raffle at the event.

So what makes a design memorable? It’s not just about the way a place looks or functions, but about the emotions elicited – creating an experience, not just a space. As the event organizers put it:

“As an industry of design professionals, we are sensitive to the emotions that people experience within a built environment. While we know that a space must be functional, we are empathetic to the reaction of individuals within their habitat. This event is about a multi-sensory experience – about emotions that people experience within a space – the noticing, feeling, and interacting in our environment.”

As the team watched people don masks, hold caution sign props, and make frightened faces for their selfies, we knew memorable design had been achieved. We are sorry/not sorry if eventgoers are still humming the tune to “Radioactive,” and can’t wait to participate in and see the talent at next year’s Fusion event. Welcome to the new age!

Join the conversation #Fusion2017 #InteriorDesign #ImagineDragons #Radioactive
Sam Dengerud

Meet Sam Dengerud

Sam understands that no one knows how their facility functions better than the client, and enjoys working with teams to define and execute the design details and logistics that go...

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